THE BERLIN IDEA hit me because I had never been to a German-speaking country and yet I semi-speak the language. I focused on Berlin specifically because I like to be in the centre of things, so I would always think to go to the principal city of a country first... and East Berlin has long been an object of fascination.
Having said all that, emigrating was not an idea that sprang from the most positive frame of mind. To be frank, it was the only alternative I could think of, one dire afternoon, to suicide.
I still don't know why ~ and surely you can't judge a town till you've actually been there ~ but the idea of Berlin kind of leaves me cold. As cold as the perishingly chilly East winds that blow relentlessly over from Siberia in Berlin's sub-zero winters. I do still want to go, but am not sure how long I would want to stay.
An alternative town, with far more surface allure, would be Vienna. The photos I saw look beautiful and I like the thought of all that Alpine fresh air. I would love to go wandering up in the mountains and Austria is a tiny country of spectacular scenery with the wonders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Germany all within easy reach.
Also I have heard the local konditorei (overpriced chocolate cakes/etc) is really good; and that the same number of people are spread out among Austria's sparkling lakes, glacial valleys, pine woods and cuckoo clocks as the 8.5 million crammed into London town!
And that's about all I have to say on the matter for now. It's hardly as if I've booked my ticket yet, so my travel plans remain wide open. Very slowly I am trawling the internet for the myriad details I really need to know before I get there.
It's a cloudless blue day. Fresh but not Alpine. Tomorrow's a public holiday so the main road's constipated with chugging jams of traffic on the way to in-laws, DIY-stores and Brighton Beach. I understand it's some sort of holiday in America, too.
Have a charming day, y'all. And I'll be back tomorrow...
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